Greg Roberts Dan Addison

A plan to increase flexibility and freedom in applying for admission to UVA will go into effect this fall.

Students who apply for “early action” will be able to apply to other schools and still have until May 2012 to commit to attending wherever they are accepted.

The process was announced last fall, and response has been “overwhelmingly positive,” says Greg W. Roberts, dean of admission. The process is not to be confused with “early decision,” which the University abandoned in 2006 amid concerns that the early decision application pool lacked racial and socioeconomic diversity.

“Economically disadvantaged students were far less likely to apply under the binding early decision plan, since they were unable to compare multiple financial aid packages from other colleges and universities,” Roberts says.

In addition to increasing diversity, the early action plan will enhance the admission process as UVA considers increasing enrollment. In December, the University’s president, Teresa A. Sullivan, proposed adding 1,400 more undergraduates and 100 more graduate students over the next four or five years. The plan would grow enrollment at a slightly faster pace than what the University has seen during the past decade, during which about 1,500 students have been added.

The increase would have to be accompanied by adequate funding from the state, sufficient facilities and need-based financing to accommodate new students, she said. If the expansion plan goes forward, approximately 90 faculty positions will be added.

In other admission news, the University received 23,942 applications—about a 6 percent increase over last year’s record total of 22,510—for places in an entering class of about 3,360. “Students are looking for value and a return on their college investment, and at UVA they can receive a world-class education while not paying the high cost you see at many private universities,” says Roberts.